Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nonfiction engagement through Wonderopolis

I've been trying to find different ways in which to incorporate the following informational reading standards into my curriculum:
Key Ideas and Details
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Craft and Structure

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

And I've discovered that Wonderopolis is a great tool for this. Our 50 minute language art block is jam packed with stuff to cover - grammar, spelling, reading workshop, poetry - how could I fit another component in??  But I loved the site, particularly the way in addressed many of the Common Core Standards I want my curriculum to incorporate.  
I launched the project this way:
1. Call up the site and navigate through/explore it with my kids using the projector.  I see this as our time to ask questions, figure out all the components, and generate some ideas about extension activities we could use Wonderopolis as a springboard for. 
2.  Use a minilesson to set up our reading journals to track our reading in the following way:

Then, my kids are  responsible for checking out the site all week - Monday through Friday - and tracking their learning for the one "Wonder" that really captured their attention/interest the most.   They complete their Wonder Tracker in their reading journals, which we share in small groups on Wednesdays.   
I grade these for a total of 25 points - so they are held accountable for this reading.  So far, this has become a truly "wonderful" (sorry, I could not resist!) learning experience.  My kids love the fact that they can choose topics they are interested in, and they are learning all sorts of cool stuff - plus how to become engaged with nonfiction.


Kathy Olenczuk said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have a seventh grader at home who always needs current events articles for his S.S. class. I know I can find a use with my thirdies as well.

April Walker said...

This is great. I had never been to this site. I try to always find ways to incorporate nonfiction through various ways and mediums.
~April Walker
The Idea Backpack

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